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  1. #1
    nyz
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    Diamondback Release 1 vs. Motobecane HAL6 XT11 Edition

    Hi all,

    I'm considering my first FS bike and after a lot of research these are the two favorites in my price range. The Release is more expensive than the Hal6 but I'm enrolled in a plan through work that brings the price down considerably. I know the best way to find the right bike is to try a lot of bikes, but where I live there are few shops that carry FS MTBs. I've been to at least 15 and I've only found 2 in my size. I have an excellent repair shop that'll help me with assembly.

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Full Suspension - Release - Release 1

    Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, Motobecane HAL6 XT11 Edition 27.5 / 650B Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Shimano Deore XT M8000 2x11 Speed Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox Pike 160mm Forks | Shimano DynaS

    Both have aluminum frames, 27.5 wheels and 1x11 gearing. A big difference is the suspension. The Hal6 is Knucklebox and the Release is Level Link (based on VPP). The Release's suspension is well reviewed, owners of the Hal6 here seem happy as well. Both have 150mm travel RockShox forks, the Release a higher end Yari RC, the Hal6 a Revelation RL. The Hal6 has 150mm rear suspension, a Monarch RT w/ lockout. The Release has a 130mm Monarch R w/o lockout, though reviewers consistently say it feels like more travel and some riders with lockout available on their Release 3s say they don't feel a need for it. The Release gets good marks for climbing despite its steep head angle; the front end of the Hal6 may wander a bit. In my size, the top tube lengths are identical, the Hal6 head tube is slack but the Release is slacker, the seat tube angles are nearly identical, and the Release has shorter chainstays. I read one review that said the Release hugged the ground and took effort to get lift, and another that said it leapt from every feature so I don't know what to make of that. Seth's Bike Hacks agreed with the latter.

    I'm familiar with the XT shifter/derailleur and Race Face narrow-wide chainring on the Hal6; I have both on my rigid 1x9 29er and the shifting and chain retention are excellent. I'm new to SRAM and I know that the NX drivetrain is the lowest of their 1x11 offerings, but I imagine it's decent as I don't see 1x11 gearing on truly low end bikes (not yet, anyway).

    Neither has weight published by their manufacturer, but comparing weight posted in reviews and by users the Release will probably be around 1.5 lbs heavier. But, it has boost spacing, wider rims and beefier fork stanchions so there should be added stiffness and stability in the tradeoff.

    Right now either bike is more than enough for the trails I'm riding, but I'm hoping to do a little traveling this season and tackle more as my skills develop. I'm leaning towards the Diamondback but I just noticed the lack of lockout on the rear shock (I do miles of street riding to get to my trails). I'd likely put a dropper post on either. The Hal6 would need new pedals and likely a shorter stem, but that would be it for upgrades this season.

    Any and all input is appreciated, especially experience with the bikes themselves and/or the different suspension systems.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #3
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    https://us.yt-industries.com/detail/.../sCategory/511

    That Jeffsey has a little less travel than the Capra, might be better for your riding. They are selling like hotcakes though so order soon if you want one. At your budget, buy a YT and don't look back.

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  5. #5
    nyz
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    Much thanks for the suggestions, they all look like great bikes, but they're a lot more expensive than the models I'm considering (the DB corporate discount is significant). The cheapest of them, the Jeffsey, is sold out in my size, small, and even medium.

    I'm familiar with Commencal, I own their ss 29er cruiser. This one is priced somewhere in the middle of what I was looking at and what you recommended:

    COMMENCAL 2016 | META AM V4 RIDE ORANGE 2016

    I especially like the weight, and the fork, rear shock and transmission are an upgrade from the DB, but they're sold out of small, and I'm wary of going to medium without being able to try it first. I may compare the geometries some more and think on it.

  6. #6
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    If you can get the Diamondback that cheap, I would just go for it OP. The Release has, in general, been getting favorable reviews. Yari and Monarch are solid as is the GX stuff. Get yourself a dropper with the money you can save!
    The cake is a lie.

  7. #7
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    I have a Release 3, and Catch 2, and have gone through 4 Bikes Direct motobecane fatbikes. I will never deal with Motobecane/bikes direct again. Their stuff is a random hodgepodge of design and build, and their 'catalog" frames often defy any sort of logic when it comes to geometry. Their in house knowledge and customer service is a joke, and dealing with warranty issues through them is worse than doing taxes on tooth pulling day.

    The Diamondback Release series (and Catch series) is dialed, been designed and engineered from the ground up to ride, and ride well. Its a freakin hoot and a half, and dealing with Diamondback on warranty issues is top notch - they have their act together. Yes, they're a little heavier than $6,000+ bikes, but there's a reason companies like Santa Cruz are offering their bikes in Aluminum again - its way cheaper, ride just as well, and the vast majority of mountain bikers could care less about carbon. Looking at the discount prices offered, it does make sense to spend the extra on the Release 2 - better components across the board, as well as the included dropper - you'll spend way more than the difference by upgrading later than buying (at discount, no less) now.

    Diamondback gets a bad rap, but most people haven't followed their development in the last few years, and their higher end stuff probably represents the best bikes for the money available on the market today. No, its not as "cool" as rolling on a Santa Cruz or a Yeti, but damn, they're fun. I don't generally push the DB bikes on folks that ask that aren't already considering them, due to the fact that their direct sales can impact local bike shops, so I leave it up to the individual to do their homework. I will continue to steer people away from Bikes Direct however.
    I would advise not taking my advice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyz View Post
    Much thanks for the suggestions, they all look like great bikes, but they're a lot more expensive than the models I'm considering (the DB corporate discount is significant). The cheapest of them, the Jeffsey, is sold out in my size, small, and even medium.

    I'm familiar with Commencal, I own their ss 29er cruiser. This one is priced somewhere in the middle of what I was looking at and what you recommended:

    COMMENCAL 2016 | META AM V4 RIDE ORANGE 2016

    I especially like the weight, and the fork, rear shock and transmission are an upgrade from the DB, but they're sold out of small, and I'm wary of going to medium without being able to try it first. I may compare the geometries some more and think on it.
    My bad, didn't realize you had a DB hook up. I was making my suggestions based off of $2800 price tag from the link you attached. Commencal also has the Meta V3 and Meta SX that are very affordable.

  9. #9
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    You will be way happier on the DB Release than the BD HAL. If you can afford one of YT or Commencal bikes they are great choices too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by track5200 View Post
    You will be way happier on the DB Release than the BD HAL. If you can afford one of YT or Commencal bikes they are great choices too.
    All of which are at least $1,000 more with components even vaguely comparable to a Hal6. Closer to $2,000 dollars more to be comparable to the 1x12 build. Buy a Hal6, trash the frame and buy a good used frame and you'll still be ahead. Who knows, maybe you'll find the Hal6 is tolerable (shock of all shocks).

    I have four BD bikes, I've never had a problem. I'm very happy with all four bikes. I'm not saying other people are wrong, just that this is my experience and perhaps a little balance is needed. I feel that a lot of people on this forum lose perspective when talking about BD.

  11. #11
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    The frames are garbage, that's more important than components. Motobecane are literally one of, if not the worst non box store bike you can buy. I'd give the exact opposite advice and buy something with a good frame, replace cheap components as time goes by.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TugboatComplex View Post
    The frames are garbage, that's more important than components. Motobecane are literally one of, if not the worst non box store bike you can buy.
    That's ridiculous. Let's start with the fact that they offer literally hundreds of different options at every price point so trying to generalize is pointless.

    F&*K it, it's pointless trying to argue about Motobecanes with people who've never owned one and likely never seen one. People seem threatened by the brand and they post this ridiculous s&!t. I don't get it. Whatever, believe what you want if it makes you feel better. Dumping out of this thread.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiro11 View Post
    trash the frame and buy a good used frame and you'll still be ahead.
    You implied that the frame was less than "good" buddy. Now go fill out your butthurt report and get back to me.

  14. #14
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    Diamondback Release 1 vs. Motobecane HAL6 XT11 Edition-image.jpeg


  15. #15
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    watermonkey makes some good points. People put too much into the big-name brands. I saved buku bucks buying a KHS on clearance in December 2015 and have zero regrets.

    If you can score that Release 1 for a massive discount, then pull the trigger. Better yet, spend a little extra and get the Release 2, a Pike, and dropper post. Profit.

    My only criticism of the Release 2 spec are the "Performance" level tires, which aren't officially tubeless compatible. Any new bike selling for more than a thousand bucks these days should come with tubeless-ready rubber, period.

    Please let us know what you decide and don't forget to post up pics of your new ride.

  16. #16
    nyz
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    Quote Originally Posted by watermonkey View Post
    The Diamondback Release series (and Catch series) is dialed, been designed and engineered from the ground up to ride, and ride well. Its a freakin hoot and a half, and dealing with Diamondback on warranty issues is top notch - they have their act together. Yes, they're a little heavier than $6,000+ bikes, but there's a reason companies like Santa Cruz are offering their bikes in Aluminum again - its way cheaper, ride just as well, and the vast majority of mountain bikers could care less about carbon. Looking at the discount prices offered, it does make sense to spend the extra on the Release 2 - better components across the board, as well as the included dropper - you'll spend way more than the difference by upgrading later than buying (at discount, no less) now.

    Diamondback gets a bad rap, but most people haven't followed their development in the last few years, and their higher end stuff probably represents the best bikes for the money available on the market today. No, its not as "cool" as rolling on a Santa Cruz or a Yeti, but damn, they're fun. I don't generally push the DB bikes on folks that ask that aren't already considering them, due to the fact that their direct sales can impact local bike shops, so I leave it up to the individual to do their homework. I will continue to steer people away from Bikes Direct however.
    Thanks watermonkey, kubikeman & hdparrish. The reviews on the Release have been strong, and it seems like they've put a lot into the design. I've had some contact with both pre-sales and tech support and they've been very responsive. I had planned on getting a dropper post, and after factoring in the cost of something decent I took a close look at the difference in components between the models and I think I'm going to go for the 3. The components are so good, their added value is more than worth it at this price; even at full price with the Guide brakes, Pike fork, etc., it's a great deal.

    I'm with you, watermonkey, on supporting LBSs. Unfortunately, I visited so many and found almost nothing. I talked to one about ordering an entirely different model that I was curious about. I'd bought another bike there and they'd offered me a good deal, but the bike in question had a rep for needing some maintenance out of the gate and this shop's mechanics aren't very good. I don't even go for the free tune ups on the bike I bought there. I have a great guy that doesn't do much full-bike retail but I trust him for all my repairs and I buy parts there. He'll assemble the DB for me. Unless an unbelievable Ebay or Craigslist deal comes along I'll order it soon. I'll post to the Release thread when I do.

    Thanks to everyone else for your input. Whatever bike you're riding I hope you're having a friggin' blast!

  17. #17
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    Moving up from a Release 1 to the 3? If you can afford it (and it sounds like you're getting a pretty deep discount), you won't regret it. Remember to show it off once you have it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyz View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm considering my first FS bike and after a lot of research these are the two favorites in my price range. The Release is more expensive than the Hal6 but I'm enrolled in a plan through work that brings the price down considerably. I know the best way to find the right bike is to try a lot of bikes, but where I live there are few shops that carry FS MTBs. I've been to at least 15 and I've only found 2 in my size. I have an excellent repair shop that'll help me with assembly.

    Diamondback Bicycles - Bikes - Mountain - All Mountain - Full Suspension - Release - Release 1

    Save Up to 60% Off 27.5 Six Inch Travel All Mountain Shimano DynaSys, Motobecane HAL6 XT11 Edition 27.5 / 650B Full Suspension Mountain Bikes Shimano Deore XT M8000 2x11 Speed Shimano XT Hydraulic Disc Brakes Rockshox Pike 160mm Forks | Shimano DynaS

    Both have aluminum frames, 27.5 wheels and 1x11 gearing. A big difference is the suspension. The Hal6 is Knucklebox and the Release is Level Link (based on VPP). The Release's suspension is well reviewed, owners of the Hal6 here seem happy as well. Both have 150mm travel RockShox forks, the Release a higher end Yari RC, the Hal6 a Revelation RL. The Hal6 has 150mm rear suspension, a Monarch RT w/ lockout. The Release has a 130mm Monarch R w/o lockout, though reviewers consistently say it feels like more travel and some riders with lockout available on their Release 3s say they don't feel a need for it. The Release gets good marks for climbing despite its steep head angle; the front end of the Hal6 may wander a bit. In my size, the top tube lengths are identical, the Hal6 head tube is slack but the Release is slacker, the seat tube angles are nearly identical, and the Release has shorter chainstays. I read one review that said the Release hugged the ground and took effort to get lift, and another that said it leapt from every feature so I don't know what to make of that. Seth's Bike Hacks agreed with the latter.

    I'm familiar with the XT shifter/derailleur and Race Face narrow-wide chainring on the Hal6; I have both on my rigid 1x9 29er and the shifting and chain retention are excellent. I'm new to SRAM and I know that the NX drivetrain is the lowest of their 1x11 offerings, but I imagine it's decent as I don't see 1x11 gearing on truly low end bikes (not yet, anyway).

    Neither has weight published by their manufacturer, but comparing weight posted in reviews and by users the Release will probably be around 1.5 lbs heavier. But, it has boost spacing, wider rims and beefier fork stanchions so there should be added stiffness and stability in the tradeoff.

    Right now either bike is more than enough for the trails I'm riding, but I'm hoping to do a little traveling this season and tackle more as my skills develop. I'm leaning towards the Diamondback but I just noticed the lack of lockout on the rear shock (I do miles of street riding to get to my trails). I'd likely put a dropper post on either. The Hal6 would need new pedals and likely a shorter stem, but that would be it for upgrades this season.

    Any and all input is appreciated, especially experience with the bikes themselves and/or the different suspension systems.

    Thanks in advance!
    Linkage Design: Diamond Back

    Regarding the diamondback -- on the linkage design blog I find one minor flaw -- the suspension has a falling amount of leverage on the shock late in the travel which means a lot of bottom out resistance at the cost of returning a lot of energy that might overcome your rebound damping. That's probably why the reviewers think that it feels like more travel so what I think of as a flaw other people might think is a great attribute. But if the rear shock comes with any volume spacers in it I would definitely take them out.

    I'll bet that you don't need a lockout -- looks like it will pedal very nicely with or without a lockout because of the fairly flat anti-squat across half the travel.

    Nothing about the diamondback would make me not want it -- my daughter and I have almost identical Fuji Auric bikes with fox on mine and pike / monarch debonair on hers and I prefer her suspension with Rock Shox to my Fox suspension -- the Yari fork should be even better than the Pike because of the air spring improvements.
    "Thank you, God, for letting me have another day"
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  19. #19
    nyz
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    Quote Originally Posted by hdparrish View Post
    Moving up from a Release 1 to the 3? If you can afford it (and it sounds like you're getting a pretty deep discount), you won't regret it. Remember to show it off once you have it.
    Thanks, will do!

  20. #20
    nyz
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave View Post
    Linkage Design: Diamond Back

    Regarding the diamondback -- on the linkage design blog I find one minor flaw -- the suspension has a falling amount of leverage on the shock late in the travel which means a lot of bottom out resistance at the cost of returning a lot of energy that might overcome your rebound damping. That's probably why the reviewers think that it feels like more travel so what I think of as a flaw other people might think is a great attribute. But if the rear shock comes with any volume spacers in it I would definitely take them out.

    I'll bet that you don't need a lockout -- looks like it will pedal very nicely with or without a lockout because of the fairly flat anti-squat across half the travel.

    Nothing about the diamondback would make me not want it -- my daughter and I have almost identical Fuji Auric bikes with fox on mine and pike / monarch debonair on hers and I prefer her suspension with Rock Shox to my Fox suspension -- the Yari fork should be even better than the Pike because of the air spring improvements.
    Belated thanks for your response. I'd seen a similar set of comparison graphs before with a humorously simple summary at the end: "Looks good!" This one with your analysis was more comprehensive, but so far (2.5 months) the rear suspension's been a joy. This is my first bike with any suspension so it's all new to me but it's doing everything I hoped it would: absorbing the hits, smoothing the ride and improving traction. I use most of the travel but haven't yet had a jarring bottoming out. After a little rebound dialing I'm not feeling bucked at all and it is indeed nearly bob-free when climbing. I lock it for longer runs on the street but if I forget to I barely notice it.

    The fork is taking me a little more time to dial as I'm new to suspension and it's such a dramatic difference. I'm getting there, though, and I'm definitely having a blast with it. I ended up buying the Release 3 so I have the Pike pre-update, but if I feel the need in the future it looks like the Vorsprung Luftkappe would be a similar upgrade. So far I love the bike (I'll post on the Release thread), just wish I had more trail time!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikerdave View Post
    Linkage Design: Diamond Back

    Regarding the diamondback -- on the linkage design blog I find one minor flaw -- the suspension has a falling amount of leverage on the shock late in the travel which means a lot of bottom out resistance at the cost of returning a lot of energy that might overcome your rebound damping. That's probably why the reviewers think that it feels like more travel so what I think of as a flaw other people might think is a great attribute. But if the rear shock comes with any volume spacers in it I would definitely take them out.

    I'll bet that you don't need a lockout -- looks like it will pedal very nicely with or without a lockout because of the fairly flat anti-squat across half the travel.

    Nothing about the diamondback would make me not want it -- my daughter and I have almost identical Fuji Auric bikes with fox on mine and pike / monarch debonair on hers and I prefer her suspension with Rock Shox to my Fox suspension -- the Yari fork should be even better than the Pike because of the air spring improvements.
    I dont think it works like that. A falling leverage rate means strong bottom out resistance and less work on your damper. It has low leverage at bottom out, less stress on it.

    If your frame has little bottom out resistance by design, then you need to reduce the volume of the shock (install tokens, etc). The reduction in volume causes a spring rate ramp up, which definitely will overwhelm your rebound! This is how my old reign is setup, and it does suck. Its a dramatically different feeling to prevent bottom out via the shock spring compared to the linkage.

    DB really came up. They're using mini link suspensions and have pretty solid geometry... also, no one pays full price on them. You can basically google the "corporate" discount and get it yourself. Its a HUGE discount sometimes.

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